Mount Vernon pitcher Jenna Sprague was all but unhittable as the Mustangs posted a convincing 7-0 win over Estherville-Lincoln Central in the first round of the Class 3A state softball tournament Tuesday, July 20. Spague tossed a three-hit shutout; she hasn’t allowed a run in the postseason.
The junior pitcher had 13 strikeouts and walked one batter in seven innings of work.
Mount Vernon gave Sprague all the runs she needed with 3 runs in the first inning. Perhaps benefitting from previous state tournament experience, the Mustangs staged a two-out rally before ELC found its footing.
Lauren Ryan and Sprague hit back-to-back singles and then Kenna Rollinger was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ashlyn Steen worked out a walk to score Ryan.
Batting in the seventh spot Addison Gookin came through with a single up the middle. Her hit plated Avery Plathe, running for Sprague, and Sydney Shultz, running for Rollinger. Steen was tagged out going to third.
Mount Vernon tacked on another run in the second when Maia Bentley’s two-out triple scored Nadia Telecky. The Mustangs put up three runs in the fourth when Lily See singled, Telecky walked and ELC’s left fielder couldn’t handle Bentley’s fly ball.
Sprague, working quickly as is her habit, kept ELC batters off-balance, at one point retired 11 in a row. She gave up one walk with two outs in the seventh inning, but came back to get the next batter on a lazy fly ball for the final out.
The win sent Mount Vernon to a semifinal match Wednesday, July 21. The Mustangs are slated to face third-seeded Williamsburg at 5 p.m. The two teams split a doubleheader in June.
ELC 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1
MV 310 300 x -- 7 7 0